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VLC is a world-class FOSS video player, but also includes a bunch of other tools.

Video Playback

Fire it up in linux or Windows and open just about anything.

Video Capture

This is the solution for capturing all old home videos on DVD, VHS, mini DVDs, whatever. If you can play it to a video stream or to your desktop, VLC can capture it.

The drivers are best in class, but the UI is just a bit wonky.

Capture Mini DVDs
  • Plug the Sony Mini DVD hand camera video output cable into the camera, load a dvd, prepare to play it (if in record screen, just hit play on its little popout UI screen)
  • Plug the Geniatech A/V decoder into the Sony Mini DVD hand camera, and plug the USB into a linux box (cast in this case). You should see dmesg log about it:
[248021.607802] usb 1-6.1.4: new high-speed USB device number 13 using xhci_hcd
[248021.751122] usb 1-6.1.4: New USB device found, idVendor=1f4d, idProduct=0102, bcdDevice=40.02
[248021.751127] usb 1-6.1.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[248021.751130] usb 1-6.1.4: Product: OTG102
[248021.751132] usb 1-6.1.4: Manufacturer: Geniatech
[248021.751133] usb 1-6.1.4: SerialNumber: 20090427
[248021.837831] cx231xx 1-6.1.4:1.1: New device Geniatech OTG102 @ 480 Mbps (1f4d:0102) with 6 interfaces
[248021.840150] cx231xx 1-6.1.4:1.1: Identified as Geniatech OTG102 (card=17)
[248021.843323] i2c i2c-6: Added multiplexed i2c bus 8
[248021.843360] i2c i2c-6: Added multiplexed i2c bus 9
[248022.110165] cx25840 5-0044: cx23102 A/V decoder found @ 0x88 (cx231xx #0-0)
[248026.916652] cx25840 5-0044: loaded v4l-cx231xx-avcore-01.fw firmware (16382 bytes)
[248027.102677] cx231xx 1-6.1.4:1.1: v4l2 driver version 0.0.3
[248027.520833] cx231xx 1-6.1.4:1.1: Registered video device video2 [v4l2]
[248027.520872] cx231xx 1-6.1.4:1.1: Registered VBI device vbi0
[248027.520875] cx231xx 1-6.1.4:1.1: video EndPoint Addr 0x84, Alternate settings: 5
[248027.520878] cx231xx 1-6.1.4:1.1: VBI EndPoint Addr 0x85, Alternate settings: 2
[248027.520880] cx231xx 1-6.1.4:1.1: sliced CC EndPoint Addr 0x86, Alternate settings: 2
[248027.521056] usbcore: registered new interface driver cx231xx
[248027.527270] cx231xx 1-6.1.4:1.1: audio EndPoint Addr 0x83, Alternate settings: 3
[248027.527274] cx231xx 1-6.1.4:1.1: Cx231xx Audio Extension initialized
  • Put a disc in the Sony Mini DVD hand camera
  • Start VLC, toggle on View > Advanced Controls
  • VLC > Media > Open Capture Device >
Capture mode: video camera
Video device name: /dev/video2 (or whatever the last video source was after you plugged in the decoder)
Audio device name: hw:3,0
Video standard: NTSC
  • Press the dropdown arrow next to Play, and choose Convert
(o) Convert
Profile: Video for MGEG4 1080p TV/device
Destination file: (choose anything, it won't f'in use it)

You'll want to do the next steps pretty fast...

  • Hit play/pause on the Sony Mini DVD hand camera
  • Press Start in VLC
  • Press the record button in VLC to start recording
  • Press unpause on the camera
  • (let the capture happen)
  • Press the record button in VLC to stop recording
  • The next secret: you have to know where VLC puts the output files. I didn't find anywhere where you can pick that. For me it was:


sudo apt install vlc